Category Archives: Uncategorized

ADHD and Perfectionism – Stuck In The Small Details

The stereotypical child with ADHD races through homework without worrying about follow through and details. While there is some truth to that perception, there are also many students with ADHD who are perfectionists. These kids are trying their best to do well on any given assignment, but they often get bogged down in the smallest of details, making it virtually impossible to complete a task.

Often the perfectionism shows up as an inability to begin an assignment. When asked to write a paragraph, many kids with ADHD become overwhelmed at the sight of a blank piece of paper. They will perseverate about writing the first sentence and work on this task for a long period of time. Teachers often notice kids with ADHD will write a sentence, and then erase it, and then continue to write and erase, over and over. This behavior is stressful and time consuming for a student. It is also one factor that explains why students with ADHD often do not complete assignments on time.

Perfectionism can also show up in math class. Some students will perseverate over making sure they write their numbers in perfect columns. Math teachers often observe students write an answer down only to erase it, and then write and erase again, until the worksheet is torn.

It is understandable why students with ADHD and perfectionism become frustrated and overwhelmed with writing and math assignments. In addition, many kids with ADHD also tend to have anxiety. The end result: needing to complete a task perfectly becomes overwhelming which then leads to an emotional meltdown.

Parents can help their child handle their need for perfection by modeling that it is okay for things not to be perfect. The following strategies may be of help:

1.) Parents can try not to tell their child to “just do their best.” The word “best” is often a trigger for kids who feel the need to be perfect. Instead, parents can praise a good effort rather than the results.

2.) Parents can discuss the idea of “good enough.” For example, a surgeon is someone who needs to focus on small details during a surgery. But there are many more instances where it is better to complete a job in a “good enough” fashion than to never finish due to obsessing over minor details.  

3.) Give perspective. For example, you can explain that time spent on a history project may be well spent but spending hours on making handmade Valentines with painstaking details may not be necessary.

4.) Partner with your child’s teacher. Meet with the teacher to discuss the situation and ask the teacher to remind your child that making mistakes is part of learning.

Intense perfectionism may be a sign of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Parents should trust their instincts about whether or not their child’s perfectionism is typical. If your child’s perfectionism seems extreme to the point that it is taking a toll on your child and your family’s everyday life, this may be an issue that should be addressed by a mental health professional.

If you are worried about your child’s perfectionism, let’s talk about it. I am here to help! Please call me at 310-849-6751 or send me an email at

Best,                                                                                                                                                                                  Jeri


Teach Your Child How To Set A Goal for 2018

The beginning of a New Year is an opportune time to teach your child how to set a goal as well as to discuss the wonderful feeling of achieving one’s goal. The ability to set a goal for oneself is an important skill.

Try explaining goal setting as simply as possible. For example, “setting a goal for yourself is choosing something that you want to accomplish and then taking the steps to make it happen.” A phrase to keep in mind is, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!”  Explain that a person is in charge of achieving his or her goals, and that while a person can ask for, and receive help and support, ultimately it is one’s own responsibility.

Fun Facts:

  • 90% of successful people set goals.
  • By setting goals, a person chooses where they will go in life.
  • By setting a goal, a person can achieve more, improve performance, increase self-esteem, and increase self confidence.
  • By setting a goal, a person can feel less stress, concentrate better and feel happier!

Basic Steps to Goal Setting:  Be S.M.A.R.T., make your goal Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound.

Specific:  Define what is important to you; what do you want to accomplish? Decide exactly what you want your goal to be. For example, instead of “get better grades” the goal should be stated as, “I will earn a B or better in math.”  Instead of “make more friends” the goal should be stated as, “I will invite someone new over to my house to play.”

Measurable: Include precise amounts or dates so you know when you have met your goal. For example, “I will complete my math homework every day” or “I will invite a new friend over to play once a month.”

Attainable: Give your goal some real thought. Is it YOUR goal or really your parents? Is it actually possible or too far out of reach? For example, “I will get a part that I enjoy in the school play” may be more attainable then, “I will be the lead in the school play.”

Relevant: Your goal must further you in the direction you want to go in. Review your goal once a month and determine if it is still important to you. Talk about your goal with a parent or teacher. If the goal is no longer of interest, feel free to change it!

Time-Bound: A deadline is essential so you know when to celebrate your success! It feels so great to achieve a goal so choose an end time that is realistic. For example, “I will complete my math homework every day for four weeks.”

And of course the best part of goal setting: choose a reward for when the goal is met. 🙂Talk with your child about celebrating the achievement of meeting a goal. Have your child take the time to enjoy the feeling of satisfaction of a job well done. Tell your child they deserve a reward! And if they didn’t achieve the goal, take the time to reflect on what happened. Was the goal unrealistic? Did your child try his or her best? And remember, a goal can always be adjusted the goal and a person can always try again!

Goal setting is empowering because it provides a focus and a true sense of accomplishment when the goal is met.  Teaching your child to set a realistic goal is giving the gift of knowing how dreams can become a reality.

If you would like to talk about ways to teach your child to set a goal, or any other parenting question, please give me a call at 310-849-6751 or send me an email at Lets talk!

I look forward to talking with you!                                                                                                                     All my best,                                                                                                                                                                       Jeri



Happy 2018!!

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2018! May you experience joy and peace in this new year. Isn’t it exciting to think about all that is possible in 2018? Adventure awaits!

All my best,                                                                                                                                                                      Jeri

Halloween – More fun, Less stress!

Trick or Treat! Halloween conjures up visions of autumn leaves, carved jack-o-lanterns, and happy children in costumes. But depending on your own child’s age and temperament, the spookiness of Halloween may or may not be embraced with glee. I have learned a great deal from over 20 years of celebrating Halloween as both a parent and a professional. The following are my tips for making Halloween fun and memorable for your child.

HALLOWEEN IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN! The best way to enjoy the holiday is to allow your child to celebrate Halloween in his or her own unique way. Plan activities that meet your child where he or she is emotionally and socially. Many children wholeheartedly love Halloween and embrace the spine-tingling aspect of the holiday. But if your child is fearful of the idea of monsters and witches, then dial down that aspect. Focus on the purely fun parts of Halloween such as going to the pumpkin patch to select the perfect pumpkin for carving. If your child is a social butterfly, then happily accept invitations to parties or host your own spooky get-together. But if your child is easily overwhelmed by the costumes and activities, then a low-key evening with just one friend, or family only, can be equally celebratory.

CREATE YOUR OWN HALLOWEEN TRADITIONS: Let your child know that there is no “right way” to celebrate Halloween and every family decides how best to enjoy the holiday. Make sure your child knows that you are completely fine if they choose to trick-or-treat or if they prefer to stay home and give out the candy. Enforce a family rule that that there is no teasing anyone about feeling nervous or frightened. Having a “go with the flow” attitude will result in a relaxed and fun holiday for everyone. Keep in mind the only true goal is that all family members enjoy the celebration.

If you are finding Halloween preparations to be overwhelming, let’s talk! Please give me a call at 310-849-6751 or send me an email at                                                                                                     Jeri

IDALA, San Fernando Valley Support Group Meeting

On October 5, 2017, I facilitated the IDALA (International Dyslexia Association – Los Angeles Branch) Parent Support Group meeting. IDALA is a volunteer non-profit organization that serves Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. Our mission is to raise awareness and understanding of dyslexia, to promote effective intervention practices, and to support individuals with dyslexia, their families, and professionals in the field.

Ken Goodman, a therapist who specializes in anxiety issues, spoke with our group about the anxiety students and parents often experience at the beginning of the fall semester.  This anxiousness is experienced by many students, especially those students with a learning challenge such as dyslexia.

Ken taught us a strategy for reducing anxiety by doing “Three by Three Relaxation Breathing.”  Relaxation breathing slows your heart rate, decreases your blood pressure, and relaxes your muscles.

This is how you do it:

  1. Inhale slowly, quietly and deeply through your nose.
  2. Use your muscles and push your stomach out as you inhale.
  3. Pause for three counts after you inhale.
  4. Think of a phrase to yourself as you inhale and exhale. For example, think, “I can” as you inhale and “relax” as you exhale.

Practice often throughout the day with both your eyes open and closed.  The more you practice the more Three by Three Breathing will feel natural.

If you would like to learn more about dyslexia, please visits the IDALA website at

If you would like to talk further about ways to help your child reduce his or her level of anxiety, I am here to help! Please call me at 310-849-6751 or email me at

Best,                                                                                                                                                                                     Jeri